Public Statement by Chair of Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

Report
from UN Security Council
Published on 03 Mar 2017 View Original

SC/12739

At its sixty-second meeting, on 14 February 2017, the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, in connection with the examination of the third report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Colombia (document S/2016/837), agreed to address the following messages through a public statement issued by the Chair of the Working Group.

To all parties to the armed conflict in Colombia:

  • Commending the historic peace process in Colombia that culminated in the signing of the final peace agreement between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC-EP) in Bogota on 24 November 2016, and welcoming in particular the provisions on the reintegration of children and mainstreaming the protection of children throughout the agreement, and encouraging their swift implementation;

  • Noting with appreciation that the peace agreement sets as guiding principles the best interest of the child, the treatment of children separated from armed groups as victims and the focus on family and community-based reintegration, and looking forward to its full implementation so that it could serve as a model for the protection of children in other peace processes;

  • Welcoming efforts by the Government to develop and implement negotiated solutions to armed conflict with other armed groups, and stressing the importance of giving due consideration to child protection issues in the early stages of peace talks;

  • Also welcoming the overall decrease in reported violations and abuses committed against children during the reporting period, and noting the direct link made in the report of the Secretary-General between the peace process and the significant improvement in the situation for children affected by armed conflict;

  • Recalling the previous conclusions of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in Colombia (documents S/AC.51/2010/3 and S/AC.51/2012/4);

To the Government of Colombia:

  • Commending the Government’s strong commitment to engaging and finding political solutions to the conflict with both FARC-EP and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and encouraging investment in all peace initiatives to protect and reintegrate children separated from the armed groups;

  • Welcoming the signing of an agreement between the Government and FARC-EP for the separation and reintegration of all children associated with FARC-EP, and urging the Government to continue to ensure that children are promptly and formally separated and reintegrated through a clear process for identification, taking into account the specific needs of boys and girls, in accordance with the guiding principles outlined in the agreement;

  • Also welcoming the announcement of the road map for peace talks with ELN, and urging the Government to consider the issue of children affected by armed conflict in the early stages of the peace process and to address the protection of children, including as a confidence-building measure;

  • Further welcoming the humanitarian demining agreement signed between the Government and FARC-EP on 7 March 2015, and calling upon the Government to intensify its demining efforts in collaboration with FARC-EP;

To the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army:

  • Strongly condemning all violations and abuses committed by FARC-EP against children;

  • Taking note with appreciation of the significant steps taken by FARC-EP to address the issue of children affected by armed conflict in the context of the peace process, in particular the signing on 15 May 2016 of an agreement on the separation of children under 15 years of age and the development of a road map for the separation of all children and on a comprehensive reintegration programme for these children;

  • Calling upon FARC-EP to continue to take active steps to fully comply with its commitments, including by ensuring that children are formally separated and reintegrated in accordance with the guiding principles outlined in the agreement, noting that only 13 children have been released to date;

  • Welcoming the humanitarian demining agreement signed between the Government and FARC-EP on 7 March 2015, and calling upon FARC-EP to intensify its demining efforts in collaboration with the Government;

To the National Liberation Army:

  • Strongly condemning all violations and abuses committed against children by ELN;

  • Requesting ELN to immediately and without preconditions release all children from its ranks in coordination, wherever possible, with child protection actors and to publicly express its commitment to ending and preventing the recruitment and use of children in violation of international law and all other violations and abuses committed against them, and to take active steps in that regard;

  • Welcoming the announcement of the road map for peace talks with the Government, and urging ELN to engage with the Government to consider the issue of children affected by armed conflict in the early stages of the peace process and to address the protection of children as a confidence-building measure;

To the post-demobilization groups:

  • Strongly condemning all violations and abuses committed against children by post-demobilization groups;

  • Requesting them to immediately and without preconditions release all children from their ranks in coordination, wherever possible, with child protection actors, and urging them to publicly express their commitment to ending and preventing all violations and abuses committed against children, and to take active steps in that regard.

For information media. Not an official record.